Hirsch v. Wade et al

Filing 4

TRANSFER ORDER: The Clerk of Court is directed to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Whether Plaintiff should be permitted to proceed further without prepayment of fees is a determination to be made by the transferee court. A summons will not issue from this Court. This order closes this case. Plaintiff has consented to electronic service of court documents. (ECF 3.) The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1915(a)(3), that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith, and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for the purpose of an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962). (Signed by Judge Laura Taylor Swain on 7/16/2021) (sac) Transmission to Office of the Clerk of Court for processing.

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ELLIOT M. HIRSCH, Plaintiff, -againstCAROLYN WADE, JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, STATE OF NEW YORK; ATTORNEY GENERAL LETITIA JAMES, REPRESENTING THE STATE OF NEW YORK, 21-CV-4836 (LTS) TRANSFER ORDER Defendants. LAURA TAYLOR SWAIN, Chief United States District Judge: Plaintiff brings this pro se action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging the decision of a state-court judge to deny him leave to proceed as a poor person in a divorce action in New York State Supreme Court, Kings County. For the following reasons, the Court transfers this action to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. DISCUSSION Under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), a civil action may be brought in (1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the State in which the district is located; (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated; or (3) if there is no district in which an action may otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction with respect to such action. Under § 1391(c), a “natural person” resides in the district where the person is domiciled, and an “entity with the capacity to sue and be sued” resides in any judicial district where it is subject to personal jurisdiction with respect to the civil action in question. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c)(1), (2). Plaintiff alleges that his claims arose in the Kings County Supreme Court, which is in the Eastern District of New York. But he names Attorney General Leticia James, in her capacity of representing the State of New York, as a defendant. Thus, venue is proper in this District under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1), because James is located within the Southern District of New York. Even though venue is proper here, the Court may transfer claims “[f]or the convenience of the parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). “District courts have broad discretion in making determinations of convenience under Section 1404(a) and notions of convenience and fairness are considered on a case-by-case basis.” D.H. Blair & Co. v. Gottdiener, 462 F.3d 95, 106 (2d Cir. 2006). Moreover, courts may transfer cases on their own initiative. See Bank of Am., N.A. v. Wilmington Trust FSB, 943 F. Supp. 2d 417, 426-427 (S.D.N.Y. 2013) (“Courts have an independent institutional concern to see to it that the burdens of litigation that is unrelated to the forum that a party chooses are not imposed unreasonably on jurors and judges who have enough to do in determining cases that are appropriately before them. The power of district courts to transfer cases under Section 1404(a) sua sponte therefore is well established.” (quoting Cento v. Pearl Arts & Craft Supply Inc., No. 03-CV-2424, 2003 WL 1960595, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 24, 2003))); see also Lead Indus. Ass’n. Inc. v. OSHA., 610 F.2d 70, 79 (2d Cir. 1979) (noting that “broad language of 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) would seem to permit a court to order transfer sua sponte”). In determining whether transfer is appropriate, courts consider the following factors: (1) the convenience of witnesses; (2) the convenience of the parties; (3) the locus of operative facts; (4) the availability of process to compel the attendance of the unwilling witnesses; (5) the location of relevant documents and the relative ease of access to sources of proof; (6) the relative means of the parties; (7) the forum’s familiarity with the governing law; (8) the weight accorded to the plaintiff’s choice of forum; (9) trial efficiency; and (10) the interest of justice, based on the totality of circumstances. Keitt v. N.Y. City, 882 F. Supp. 2d 412, 459-60 (S.D.N.Y. 2011); see 2 also N.Y. Marine and Gen. Ins. Co. v. LaFarge No. Am., Inc., 599 F.3d 102, 112 (2d Cir. 2010) (setting forth similar factors). A plaintiff’s choice of forum is accorded less deference where plaintiff does not reside in the chosen forum and the operative events did not occur there. See Iragorri v. United Tech. Corp., 274 F.3d 65, 72 (2d Cir. 2001). Under § 1404(a), transfer of this action to the Eastern District of New York appears to be appropriate. First, because the State of New York, for which Plaintiff names James as a defendant, is located within the Eastern District of New York as well as this District, venue is proper in that district under § 1391(b)(1). Second, as the underlying events occurred in Kings County and the Justice that Plaintiff sues is located in that county, venue is proper in the Eastern District under § 1391(b)(2). Third, it is likely that relevant documents and witnesses are located within the Eastern District. Based on the totality of the circumstances, the Court concludes that it is in the interest of justice to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). CONCLUSION The Clerk of Court is directed to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Whether Plaintiff should be permitted to proceed further without prepayment of fees is a determination to be made by the transferee court. A summons will not issue from this Court. This order closes this case. Plaintiff has consented to electronic service of court documents. (ECF 3.) 3 The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1915(a)(3), that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith, and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for the purpose of an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962). SO ORDERED. Dated: July 16, 2021 New York, New York /s/ Laura Taylor Swain LAURA TAYLOR SWAIN Chief United States District Judge 4

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